Best Cities to Visit in Bavaria

Bamberg, one of the best cities to visit in Bavaria, Germany
Bamberg, one of the best cities to visit in Bavaria, Germany

By Vicky · Published Jun. 8th, 2024

Discover the top ten best cities to visit in Bavaria, with a map, town descriptions and best tours to take when you’re there.

Best Cities to Visit in Bavaria Map

Best Cities to Visit in Bavaria List

  1. Munich – home of Oktoberfest
  2. Nuremberg – old & recent history
  3. Bamberg – well-preserved & medieval
  4. Regensburg – many layers of history
  5. Augsburg – stately and grand
  1. Würzburg – a famous residence and castle
  2. Ulm – climb the world’s tallest cathedral tower
  3. Bayreuth – a famous theatre and palaces
  4. Ingolstadt – home of Audi
  5. Landshut – a cute town with a grand castle

1. Munich

Munich central area with a dusting of snow, one of the best cities to visit in Bavaria

Munich is the capital of Bavaria and home to the famous Oktoberfest. It’s definitely one of the best cities to explore on a trip to Bavaria. There’s plenty to see, from Marienplatz and the Rathaus in the centre, to the huge Munich Residence, historic churches and world-class museums (and the BMW Museum…). Spend at least two days here, though you could easily spend a lot longer if you want to visit the museums.

Read more about visiting Munich

Best Tour: The best guided tour of Munich is the Third Reich & WWII Walking Tour* where you’ll delve into the city’s important and often dark history.

2. Nuremberg

Nuremberg, a great day trip from Munich
the river and old buildings in Nuremberg, Bavaria

Nuremberg is a very well-preserved historic city in Bavaria with plenty to see. You’ll discover lovely old buildings, Schloss Kaiserburg, and the home of the famous engraver Albrecht Durer. In a darker period, Nuremberg was also host to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, and after the war, the Nuremberg Trials to convict Nazis were held here. There’s so much to see you could stay overnight and spend two days exploring the city.

Read more about Nuremberg

Best Tour: Once you’re in Nuremberg, make the most of your time on a great guided walking tour*!

3. Bamberg

A historic courtyard in Bamberg, a great day trip from Munich
Wine and a monastery in Bamberg

Bamberg is one of the most complete Medieval cities remaining in Germany. There’s plenty to see, including the large cathedral, cute streets, a grand Residenz and a castle. If you’re feeling energetic, you can walk from Bamberg to Schloss Seehof, another nearby castle.

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Best Tour: If you like beer, this self-guided tour* will help you discover the breweries of Bamberg. Smoked beer is a speciality of Bamberg, and it’s definitely worth discovering this unique flavour.

4. Regensburg

The old, medieval stone bridge in Regensburg, Bavaria, Germany
A historical tower in Regensburg, a fun day out from Munich
A street in Regnesburg, a great day trip from Munich

Regensburg has a very long history, with some of the oldest ruins dating to Roman times when they built a fortress here. In the Medieval period Regensburg became a flourishing trading centre and today you can see the grand buildings and distinctive tall tower houses of the city. It’s a great city in Bavaria to visit if you like history, culture and beautiful buildings.

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Best Tour: When you arrive in Regensburg there’s a fun little train tour* that takes you around the old town with an audioguide in English.

5. Augsburg

Augsburg, one of the best cities to visit in Bavaria

Augsburg is a grand and stately city not far from Munich. Founded by the nephews of Augustus Caesar, it’s one of the oldest cities in Germany. However, it really flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries when the powerful Fugger banking family rose to prominence. Additionally, today Augsburg has UNESCO World Heritage Status because of its water management system.

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Best Tour: There’s a great Guided Walking Tour* in Augburg that visits all the main sights, including the extravagant Golden Hall and Fuggerei social housing complex.

6. Würzburg

The grand Würzburg  residence schloss
Würzburg Fortress, one of the best cities to explore in Bavaria, Germany

Würzburg is at the northern end of the Romantic Road, a famous tourist route through Bavaria. There’s a grand Residence Schloss, a fortress on the hill and a charming historic old town to explore.

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Best Tour: A sightseeing train tour* is an easy way to explore the town, with an audioguide available in many languages.

7. Ulm

Ulm, a great city to visit in Bavaria
Ulm, one of the top cities to visit in Bavaria
A cute, learning wooden house in Bavaria, Germany

Ulm is one of the less visited cities in Bavaria, but it’s a lovely town with lots to see and do. This includes climbing the tallest church tower in the world, exploring the cute Fisherman’s Quarter and admiring the highly decorated Rathaus (town hall).

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Best Tour: To make the most of the city, go on a guided walking tour of Ulm* and delve further into the city’s past and present.

8. Bayreuth

The historic centre of Bayreuth
Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth, the home of Wagner, and a great city to visit in Bavaria

Bayreuth is a musical town with a famous opera house and the home of Wagner. A Wagner-related music festival takes place in summer (late July and August), when the city really fills up with visitors. If you want to visit during this time, book your hotels and concert tickets well in advance. There’s also a nice old city centre and several grand palaces a quick bus ride away.

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Best Tour: For a guided tour of the old centre, this walking tour by the local tourist information* is a great choice.

9. Ingolstadt

Ingolstadt Castle, one of the best cities to visit in Bavaria, Germany
A historic tower in Ingolstadt

Most famous for its Audi Factory, Ingolstadt also has a lovely historic centre with plenty of interesting buildings, parks and churches. It also makes a very pleasant city for shopping as the streets are mainly pedestrianised with a small-town feel, yet has all the big brands.

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Best Tour: A tour of the Audi Factory is the most popular tour in Ingolstadt, and it’s fun even for those not so interested in cars.

10. Landshut

A church and colourful street in Landshut, Bavaria, Germany
Trausnitz Castle in Landshut

Landshut is a quiet city and a lovely place to wander around, with wide pedestrianised streets and a river promenade. There’s an interesting church to explore plus a grand castle on the hill overlooking town.

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Guidebooks to explore more of Germany

Check out the Best Day Trips from Munich, our Guide to the Romantic Road, or our Germany Hiking Page for more great travel and hiking ideas.

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